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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholic Churches in Rome have been draped in pagan images and symbols since the beginning of the Amazon Synod.
At first glance, the pagan modifications appear to represent indigenous people but, according to faithful Catholics, represent the culmination of "the travesties of the modernist movement."
For example, the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina in Rome, dating from the 16th century — and a stone’s throw from St. Peter's Basilica — has been transformed into a shrine to Amazonian indigenous culture — as well as liberation theology.
The ancient Carmelite church displays a magic circle blanket resting atop the ancient marble floor of a side altar and is adorned with indigenous objects of pagan Mother earth worship.
Scattered about the circle are two wooden statues of a naked pregnant woman, a musical pipe, a rattle, wooden bowls, and a wooden boat situated at the edge of the circle.
Images of two liberation theology martyrs provide a backdrop for the circle.
United States Catholic Bishops: Why are you silent about Amazon idolatry? If you say nothing, you are complicit. Risk your reputation and boldly process the Faith of the Catholic Apostles and Martyrs! Now is the hour for Shepherds!— Dr Taylor Marshall �� (@TaylorRMarshall) October 7, 2019
Among the objects is a photo of Xicão Xukuru, chief of the Xukuru do Ororubá people from Pernambuco of Northeast Brazil and who sought to bring back "the ancient rituals that were suppressed by the white man."
Receive your son, my Mother Nature. He won't be buried, He will be planted so that from him new warriors will be born, my Mother Nature. He will be planted, my Mother Nature, the way he wanted, under your shadow, my Mother Nature. To give life to new warriors, my Mother Nature. So that our fight won't stop, my Mother Nature.
Next to the image of Xukuru is an image of Dorothy Stang, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, who was killed in 2005 in the Amazon region of Brazil when she had been working as a missionary in connection to struggles for agrarian reform.
Throughout his encyclical Laudato Sí (2015) Pope Francis wrote that “everything is connected.” The theme that humankind is connected to the ecosystems, and social problems such as poverty and technological development are connected to human misuse of the natural environment, runs through his document.
Francis also refers to an "environmental crisis" and claims "the symptoms of sickness [are] evident in the soil, in the water, in the air, and in all forms of life."
Critics have viewed the encyclical as a political, rather than a spiritual, document and described it as "pessimistic," sounding more like "Environmental Defense Fund propaganda."
According to his critics, Francis provided politically driven "environmentalists a motherlode of propaganda soundbites as well as rhetorical ammunition to make an appeal to papal authority in support of their agenda" in Laudato Sí.
In speaking with Church Militant, George Neumayr, American Spectator reporter, who took the photos of the pagan displays, explained the draping of Rome's churches in pagan paraphernalia in historical terms.
"Francis' Church's wallowing in nature worship is one of the culminating travesties of modernism," he told Church Militant, "the plunge into paganism past popes predicted would happen if clerics rejected Thomism and adopted the subjectivism of the misnamed 'Enlightenment.'"
Neumayr's comment alludes to Pope St. Pius X's warning about the dangers of modernism in the early 20th century.
The sainted pope warned of the danger of modernism in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis in which he explicitly laid out the dangers of modernism that are often buried in "clever artifice":
But since the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called) employ a very clever artifice, namely, to present their doctrines without order and systematic arrangement into one whole, scattered and disjointed one from another, so as to appear to be in doubt and uncertainty, while they are in reality firm and steadfast, it will be of advantage ... to bring their teachings together here into one group ... .
The anti-modernist pope stated: "I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition."
The covering of traditional symbols of the Catholic Church with pagan symbols of the Amazonian indigenous people and political slogans of liberation theology represent a jolt to tradition-minded Catholics, striking them more as indoctrination rather than elucidation of sacred precepts.